Town halls are a hallmark of representative democracy. The events allow constituents to directly ask their lawmakers questions about the most important events in their state or district. Since Donald Trump has been in office, however, Republican lawmakers are hosting less and less town hall events.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst hosted a town hall on Wednesday night. Her experience there gave good insight as to why conservatives are looking to avoid the events. A Iowan named Amy Haskins grilled the senator over her continued support of Donald Trump and her silence on the Ukraine accusations.
Referring to the President’s request that China investigate Joe Biden, Haskins asked, “How is that helping anybody? Where is the line? When are you guys going to say, ‘Enough’ and say ‘You know what, I’m not backing any of this’?”
When Ernst did not respond to her question right away, the constituent continued to press. “You still stand there, silent, and your silence is supporting him,” Haskins continued.
The Iowa Senator responded, “I can say, yay, nay, whatever, the president is going to say whatever the president is going to do. It’s up to us as members of Congress to continue working with our allies making sure we remain strong in the face of adversity and that’s what we have to do is to encourage those other contours and so that’s what we will continue to do.”
The back and forth closed with Haskins asking, “And our president shouldn’t be threatening them and he also should not be encouraging other countries to investigate his political rivals?”
Ernst answered with a common Republican talking point. “I would say to that, corruption no matter where it is should be ferreted out,” she said.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.